Monday, 21 July 2014

The Island Monster (1954)

There's no actual monster in this film, just the metaphorical one of a wicked man.  One might suspect that part of the title is an attempt to cash in on the fact that Boris Karloff is in the picture.

The film does take place on an island though, so that puts it one ahead of Kong Island.  Alas, that's the only measure by which this movie gets ahead of any other film.  Because this, my loyal readers (both of you!), is terrible.

I've said before that just about the only sin a film can commit which I cannot forgive is to be boring, and my word, The Island Monster is that.  Unremittingly tedious, with long scenes of absolutely zero interest being interrupted with brief snippets of nothing much going on.  Even scenes that in principal ought to have some excitement - the kidnap of a child, and a car crash - are rendered soporifically dull.

And that dullness is quite the shame, because with the hysterically bad dubbing and the egregiously awful child - seriously, kid characters in films are often painful, but they're nothing on this singularity of annoyance - this had the potential to good-bad, rather than just bad.

The plot?  An undercover policeman is assigned to investigate a drug smuggling ring.  He's terrible at his job (not an intentional aspect of the script, as far as I can tell), and the bad guys work out who he is and kidnap his daughter to get leverage on him.  Frankly, he should be thanking them for getting rid of the brat, but he doesn't, he just very slowly looks for her for a very long time.  The bad guys do nothing about this, because ... because it was the 1950s and you couldn't chop a kid's fingers off on screen back then, I guess.  Eventually the kid is saved and the useless cop gets his just desserts by having to spend time with her again.

Boring, boring, boring.

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